Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Ready for Climate21?

Published: April 22, 2015, Author: Rÿser Rudolph C.

Fourth World nations are most directly affected by the adverse effects of changing climate. Micro-climates instead of macro-climates typically occupied by nations evidence the greatest changes with the greatest adverse human results. How do I know this? Traveling to Fourth World nations’ territories around the world I can see the consequences, the climate refugees, the destruction of food sources, spoiling of the living environment by toxic wastes in the atmosphere and down streams and rivers.

 COP 21 Stormy Weather

Fourth World nations are not the producers of the changing climate. They are the canaries in the mine for the world to see and understand. When a nation dies from environmental degradation and contaminated lands and atmosphere the rest of the world should be warned. Nations and states should put aside petty financial, political and business concerns. Not to do so is to commit the world’s human beings and other life forms to mass death.

As dire as all this seems three alternatives are nevertheless sitting at the figurative table:

  • Fourth World nations must engage in extensive adaptation now.
  • Fourth World nations must go to the global negotiating table prepared to influence and negotiate fundamental changes in human strategies with states, non-governmental organizations, religions, businesses, and mutilateral state and Fourth World organizations.
  • Many nations must notice that the development example offer by UN Development Decades and so-called developed states (Japan, Germany, United States, Brazil) have essentially failed to achieve a balance between the capacity of the natural world to cleanse and regenerate and the voracious demands by humans to consume. Fourth World nations must offer alternative strategies rooted in their successes over the last several thousand years.

The Conference of Parties (COP) (21) of the International Conventional on Climate Change will meet next November-December in Paris to agree to mitigation and adaptation strategies as well as financial arrangements to reverse the change climate conditions. Some analysts now suggest that after the many years of annual COP meetings that failed to achieve a comprehensive agreement this one will produce an agreement. If the agreement is coming, will it primarily benefit the privileged and already comfortable at the expense of the more than 5000 Fourth World nations, or will there be a concerted effort by Fourth World nations to engage the debate to ensure their role in a solution? It is, as I have suggested in earlier postings on this topic, time for Fourth World nations to step up.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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